KGI Center for Rare Disease Therapies Praises New NIH Initiative
NIH’s Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) represents a significant development on the part of the federal government to help the 25 million Americans diagnosed with rare diseases, said Ian Phillips, director of the CRDT and Norris Professor of Applied Life Sciences at KGI.
“The Center for Rare Disease Therapies has been encouraging federal health officials to step up in this important effort, and we wholeheartedly applaud NIH on this decision,” said Phillips.
TRND is expected to create a drug development pipeline to stimulate research collaborations with academic scientists, clinicians and companies. The program will attempt to bridge the gap between promising research and clinical trials.
There are currently 1,800 drugs with orphan drug designation, but only 300 of these have been applied to patients with rare diseases. The new NIH program will provide support for specific, preclinical research and product development to overcome barriers that have prevented potential therapies reaching patients.
Steve Groft, director of the Office of Rare Disease Research and a member of the CRDT Board of Advisors, said, “This is the first time NIH is providing support for specific, preclinical research and product development. While we do not underestimate the difficulty of developing treatments for people with these illnesses, this program provides new hope to many people worldwide."
The Center for Rare Disease Therapies is a think tank and education center dedicated to advancing education and awareness of rare diseases and rare disease therapies. KGI established the CRDT in 2008 in response to patient needs and the recommendation of key stakeholders, including industry supporters and the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).
Educating the future leaders of the bioscience industry, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) offers an interdisciplinary graduate education through its Master of Bioscience (MBS) degree program and its PhD program in Applied Life Sciences. Using team-based learning and real-world projects, KGI's innovative curriculum seamlessly combines applied life sciences, bioengineering, bioethics and business management. KGI also has a robust research program concentrating on the translation of basic discoveries in the life sciences into applications that can benefit society. KGI is a member of The Claremont Colleges, located in Claremont, California.
Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences is dedicated to education and research aimed at translating into practice, for the benefit of society, the power and potential of the life sciences.